Over the past few weeks, OTRS has seen quite a few messages concerning
companies that are putting information about themselves onto Wikipedia for
advertising purposes, insisting that it is their right to do this. An article in an
online SEO (search engine optimization) magazine described how to mine
wikipedia to get web traffic. We have had emails from such diverse groups as talent
agencies (we will take the copyright off our own website, as long as it is
included in Wikipedia), a Dominatrix, a vaporizer (I have no choice but to
keep inserting my links on your site so as to fend off the competitors), and
many others. In fact, this appears to be a growing trend in Wikipedia, as is
evidenced by similar phone calls to the office (I did not write the article
about my, my PR firm wrote it, and I paid them good money so you can't take it
off). Shoppingtelly.uk has written that as long as we allow links to the BBC,
they will insist on their "rights" to put links to their site on Wikipedia.
This is a worrying trend on the English Wikipedia which raises issues of
POV, notability, and verifiability. Ironically, we do not allow paid
advertising, but we are buckling when people use our site in order to get free
I do not know the solution to this problem--several have been raised, but in
my mind none is completely satisfactory. I am simply posting this here in the
hope that it will elicit discussion and, perhaps, a real policy decision to
counter this worrying trend.
Thank you for sharing this problem with us.
"Vaporizer" sounds too much like a Dalek; "You will be exterminated"
Not even dedicated and recognized Wikipedians have a "right" to dictate
content, so someone who is wotking through a PR firm shouldn't expect
any better. If the firm told him such a thing there are issues that he
will need to work out with them.
The falacy in shoppingtelly's arguments is based in the fact that the
BBC does not itself add links to itself. If shoppingtelly has anything
useful on its site someone someday will make a proper unbiased link
there. It's just unlikely to be to their advertising material any more
than it is to advertising material on the BBC.
The premise in your inquiry is that we are dealing with clear cases of
spam. There is probably no one way to identify this stuff ahead of
time, and most links will still take exploring to learn what's going
on. I don't see any need to "buckle" when the spamming is obvious.